Well...a beautiful morning, compared with the squishiness of Monday's run, and the noisiness of Wednesday's run.
The sun was just, only just, beginning to lighten the sky when I set out at 7.30. Dry and clear, with just a hint of crispness in the air..but not enough to warrant warmer garb.
I set out at the obligatory brisk pace, only me, on the road towards the railway station...street lamps switching off, one after the other, the village beginning to stir itself from the night's sleep.
Starting the run and feeling fairly confident, with a slow, but steady pace, as usual. I find that when Laura says that I have been running for five minutes and should have a nice steady pace going... I usually haven't! It takes me about ten minutes to settle to the comforting rhythm of my feet moving me forwards.
Turned up the lane past rookery wood, and the lazy rooks still squabbling and flapping around in their untidy nests.
The narrow pavement was dry this morning and the leaves no longer squishy and slippery underfoot.
I made the corner by the Bridle path in good time, and noticed that my pace has quickened as the weeks have progressed.
A new route from this point on, lengthening my distance and using a different route towards the next village. The lane narrows here, so I was glad of the flashing belt my husband had loaned me, ( he does not want me to get squished); no cars as such, but it gave me confidence that I could be seen. Once the narrowest point and the sharpest bend was negotiated, I was on a clear run for the village. Slow and steady, over half way through the run and nearly time to turn around. The 28 minute runs so far have been fine..little did I know...!
Turned around at the sign for the village and headed back down the lane. It would have been lovely to cut across the fields at this point, where the first shoots of the winter wheat are just beginning to poke their spiky green heads above the earth, but the torrential rain we have had, has soaked the ground completely.I have not been able to do a field run for many days now, as the effort of lifting my feet from the gloopy mud is singularly unpleasant. ( Think the Dead Marshes, below Mordor, those of you who are familiar with Lord of the Rings).
So back the way I came.
But , lost in my own thoughts, I had sort of forgotten...the hill I ran down so blithely at the beginning of the run..is still there! Laura's cheery voice... with five minutes left to run, jolted me back to reality. Five minutes, and what always seemed like a gentle hill, at the end of an afternoon stroll, suddenly looked like Everest.
It was hard, very hard. I cannot lie; for the first time, since starting the programme I think, I felt my 65 and two thirds years weighing heavily on my calf muscles, ( I think it was the two thirds that did it).
But, they do not call me the Grey Snail for nothing; really slow and really steady, but still running I eventually gained the brow of the hill... I almost sped along the next stretch, ( well almost..) until the lovely Laura informed me I could slow down...yeay!
I had to keep jogging for another couple of minutes, as I had gained momentum in the excitement of getting up the hill! Then a brisk five minute walk back to the railway station, and a slower walk up through the village, Franck's Panis Angelicus, soothing my soul and and easing the ache in my muscles...and home.